Pietro DE ANGELIS
(Rome c.1769 - Rome(?) c.1825)
An Allegorical Figure of Music
Inscribed Musica at the bottom centre.
144 x 93 mm. (5 5/8 x 3 5/8 in.) [sheet]
Among stylistically comparable drawings by Pietro de Angelis is a Design for a Ceiling Decoration with Ceres in her Chariot, signed ‘De Angelis Fecit’, which appeared at auction in New York in 1998, and a study of Venus and Paris, signed ‘Cav. Pietro de Angelis Romano F.’, sold at auction in Italy in 1974. An analogous drawing by the artist, albeit unsigned, depicting a musician crowned with a laurel wreath by a muse, is in the Kunsthalle in Bremen, while also similar in style and technique is an allegorical depiction of the River Arno, which was on the art market in Florence in 2013.
Other signed drawings by this rare artist include a sheet of studies of heads, hands, a foot, and two lamps, signed ‘Eques de Angelis Romans. Fecit’, in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon and a drawing of The Apotheosis of King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, showing a bust of the king crowned by four allegorical figures, which appeared at auction in Munich in 2012. A pen and ink drawing of an allegorical subject, signed ‘Cavalier Pietro de Angelis F.’, appeared at auction in 1971, while another signed drawing, depicting Diana and her Nymphs Bathing, was sold at auction in London in 1979. A watercolour by de Angelis, depicting a fire in a classical city and possibly intended as a stage design, is in the collection of the Albertina in Vienna; this last drawing is, however, somewhat more elaborate in conception and style than the other drawings mentioned above.
Soon after the turn of the century, de Angelis appears to have left Italy to live and work north of the Alps. He seems to have spent some time in Russia, to judge from a signed and dated drawing, inscribed ‘De angelis fecit in San Pietrosburgo 1801’, in the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen, and is recorded as a teacher of perspectival drawing at the University of Vilnius in Lithuania in 1804. By 1810 de Angelis was in Munich, where he lived and worked, as a professor of the Italian language, until at least 1822.
Obviously a cultured and intellectual figure, de Angelis was described by contemporary sources as both an artist and a poet. A book of his poems was published in Frankfurt in 1798 with the title Saggio di poesie, e improvvisi di Pietro de Angelis romano, and other collections of his writings appeared in later years; Saggio di prose e poesie was published in Kosice in 1808 and La calunia scoperta dalla virtu in Vienna two years later.
Jean-Luc Baroni Ltd., London.